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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Your bush break travel guide – when to visit

As you plan your 2024 escape to the bush, read the below to discover the best times to book your perfect safari experience.


With winter just a few months away, now is the ideal time for safari lovers to start planning their 2024 bush break. And for those looking to avoid the typical game reserve getaway, the Chobe River region offers a spectacular year-round alternative.

Whether a fishing fanatic, avid birder, or wildlife lover, the Chobe River provides spectacular safaris whenever you visit.

Fishing: Catch a big one April to November

For anglers who prioritise fishing over game viewing, the prime fishing season on the Chobe runs from April to November. For tiger fishing in particular, however, the most popular season runs from April to August, although tiger fish can be caught year-round (it’s just the techniques that differ).

Serious fisherfolk and fishing-loving families and groups should book into lodges like the Ichingo Chobe River Lodge between June and August to target tiger fish, or October–November for catfish and other species (all fishing is catch and release).

Wildlife: Get your game on April to October

For those focused on prolific game viewing, the dry winter months between April and October provide prime conditions when wildlife congregates along the Chobe River. As inland watering holes dissipate, animals rely on the river to quench their thirst, staying close to the waterways.

During a river cruise, you may spot massive herds of elephants wading through shimmering water, witness great buffalo herds gathering at the lip of the water, and even observe crocodiles stealthily slicing through pools. Hundreds of hippos also wallow in the river with just their nostrils poking out.

Board the luxury floating hotel, the regal Zambezi Queen, which serves as the ultimate viewing platform, allowing you to drift within mere feet of the local animal inhabitants going about their natural day-to-day activities, undisturbed by human presence. Come sunset, toast the incredible sights over cocktails. The abundant game viewing promises unforgettable memories no matter how many times you may have been on safari before.

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Birding: Flock together September to March

The Chobe River ecosystem provides critical habitat for more than 450 recorded bird species. On the Chobe River, dazzling kingfishers may dart ahead fishing and elegant fish eagles circle and swoop with their haunting cry.

While Chobe is a fantastic year-round destination with an impressive resident population, the region’s feathered inhabitants swell with the arrival of the migrants in September – boosting the bird population by up to 20%.

The flagship Zambezi Queen, the smaller Chobe Princesses and Ichingo Chobe River Lodge offer a uniquely different perspective when it comes to birding – with water safaris that allow you to get close to birds on a quiet tender boat.

Green season: Go green November to March

While April–October makes for superb safaris, the Chobe provides year-round wildlife sightings during the lush ‘green season’ from November to March. As the first rains fall, the entire landscape transforms to emerald hues. Migratory birds arrive by the thousand to enjoy the bounty and baby animals take their first tentative steps, creating tons of cute photo ops.

In addition to the adorable baby impala, elephant calves, and more, the ‘green season’ provides a front-row seat to the circle of life. Predators seek vulnerable prey, while herds protect their young. For avid birders, the green season promises numerous lifers unattainable at any other time.

While wildlife abounds, lodges and cruises offer substantial savings during the ‘green season’ due to lower visitor numbers.

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